Pulseaudio dependency, if Debian can do it ...

rosea grammostola rosea.grammostola at gmail.com
Mon Jun 27 12:44:41 UTC 2011

On 06/27/2011 12:44 PM, David Henningsson wrote:
> On 2011-06-26 10:04, rosea grammostola wrote:
>> "In Fedora pulseaudio is pulled in as a dependency of gnome-shell.
> ...and in Ubuntu it's a dependency on ubuntu-desktop, so no difference 
> there.

There might be a small difference, but it isn't the same... Gnome-shell 
is some kind of an application, ubuntu-desktop is an metapackage. This 
looks surely like a design difference to me.

>> By default pulseaudio hands over control to jack via D-bus.
> AFAIK this works equally well in both distros. 
Could be, but till now Fedora seems do it always a bit better then 
Ubuntu in this area (maybe because the Pulseaudio and JACK dev are using 

> Making pulseaudio easier to remove is not a priority, but if any 
> volunteer wants to work with that functionality (and it doesn't end up 
> breaking something else), I don't see why we wouldn't take such a patch.
> For me the priority would be rather to fix the issues people have with 
> PulseAudio, rather than making it easier to remove. Audio drivers as 
> well as PulseAudio have improved over the last three years it's been a 
> part of Ubuntu, maybe it's worth another try?
It's true that PulseAudio has been improved, (all though when having 
pulseaudio installed, the often recommended proaudio soundcards from 
M-audio (Delta series) doesn't work OOTB) and they will be working 
further to improve the coexistence of both PulseAudio and JACK. But no 
matter how well PulseAudio works, there will always be people who prefer 
to have it not on their system. So it would be good if you could remove 
it easily (like is possible on Debian and Fedora atm).

Gnome-shell and Unity seems to make the situation a bit different again. 
It looks like the situation is going to be worse. Now (pre Gnome-shell / 
Unity) Ubuntu is the only distro where you can't remove PulseAudio, but 
if PulseAudio is a dependency of Gnome-shell it won't be able to remove 
it on the other distro if I see it right.

Also looking at the waste of system resources Unity suffers with, it 
might be wiser for 'us' proaudio engineers / music producers to look for 
something else, Xfce maybe... Sad, cause Gnome2 (especially in Debian) 
is very good atm, delivering a good balance between a nice good looking 
Desktop and reasonable use of system resources (and on Debian the 
possibility to remove components like PulseAudio).

Ubuntu has to be careful not going to be the next Windows imho. Of 
course the base system is a lot different, but it doesn't looks to me 
that Ubuntu is capable atm of implementing new Desktop goodies in a 
clean and efficient way. Unity seems to offer us heavy system loads and 
a cluttered system where it is getting harder and harder to remove 
components from ubuntu-desktop. I have nothing against 'Desktop 
innovation' and I don't want to be conservative here, but alas it 
shouldn't be a degeneration when it comes to system load and cleanness imho.

So my opinion is that it should be possible to remove components as much 
as possible from the ubuntu-desktop. If you could improve this by making 
it able to remove PulseAudio from ubuntu-desktop (also with Unity), that 
would be a good thing.

Thanks in advance,


More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list